Protect yourself from Fraud: Write the date in full in 2020
Posted on 15th January 2020
When dating a document, the majority of us use the DD/MM/YY format, leaving out the first 2 digits of the year without a second thought, but did you know that when using this format this year you were potentially leaving yourself exposed to fraud?
Many legal professionals, including ourselves, are encouraging clients to ensure that they sign all paperwork with the year written in full: by only writing “20” as the year, you are leaving it open, so that anyone could fraudulently alter the date to suit their own needs. For example, the date could be changed to read another year such “2019” or “2001” or “2023” and so forth.
Let’s say, for example, you chose to enter into a loan. The agreement of the loan is that don’t have to make repayment until a year after the date signed. Agreeing to this loan, you date the agreement as 09/01/20. This could quite easily be changed by the lender to read 09/01/2019, and they would be able to demand their money back straight away. There would, of course, be very little evidence to prove they had changed the date, making any claims against them difficult to prove.
Should you move into rented accommodation this year then again we would suggest you date in full, as the landlord could easily amend the date of 01/01/20 to read 01/01/2019 to make it look as though you had lived in the property longer, and that you are therefore liable for damages predating your actual tenancy.
When dating any legal document this year, be it for the V5 for your car, the lease for your home, insurance documents, gym membership, direct debits and agreements, take the extra 3 seconds to write the full date to save any claims or problems at a later date.
At MG Legal, your local Lancaster solicitors, we would always encourage our clients to write the date in full on any legal document they sign with us; in return we make a conscious effort not to accept paperwork on which the date does not appear in full in order to protect all parties.
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